PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 18-year-old driver “panicked” and left the scene after striking a Temple University student who has riding her bike, police said.
The suspect, who police say only had a driver’s permit, gave a statement to police Thursday morning saying he was behind the wheel of a car that struck the female, investigators said.
Investigators say the suspect told police he was “scared” because he only had a driver’s permit and left the scene.
The incident happened at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at North Park Avenue and Diamond Street in North Philadelphia.
Police say they found the victim, identified by her family as 22-year-old Rachel Hall, unconscious on the highway, suffering from severe head and leg injuries. She was taken to Temple University Hospital and is in extremely critical condition fighting for her life.
Hall’s family said she was riding her bike home from dinner, studying for finals when she was hit.
According to investigators, the 18-year-old suspect only possessed a driver’s permit, not a driver’s license. Investigators said the suspect told them he panicked and fled the scene after striking Hall.
Police say the owner of the car, the suspect’s father, called police. The suspect is cooperating with police.
The suspect, who is from Philadelphia, is not currently in police custody.
Police say the car involved was found at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and is now at the impound lot.
So far, no charges have been filed.
Hall’s family tells CBS 3 Eyewitness News she was the goalie for the Temple Lacrosse team and was set to graduate later next week. Hall is from Mullica Hill, New Jersey.
Temple University Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin Clark says, “The entire Temple Athletics community, as well as the University as a whole, is in shock from last evening’s incident that has left our senior lacrosse player, Rachel Hall, in critical condition at Temple Hospital. I just met with her father and let him know that we are here to support Rachel and her family in any way possible. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this trying time and our hope is to see this young woman, who was honored yesterday morning for her work in the classroom, back on her feet and holding her Temple University diploma in the near future.”
“I met with our team today and everyone is still in shock upon hearing about what happened to Rachel last night. Words cannot adequately express the pain that Rachel and her family are going through, and that pain can be seen on the faces of her Temple Lacrosse family as well. The outpouring of love and support that has been expressed for Rachel is a reflection of the fact that Rachel is such an amazing person, a strong woman, and a selfless teammate. As her Temple Lacrosse family, right now, all we are focused on is seeing Rachel and her family get through this critical period and we are there to support in any way possible,” Bonnie Rosen, Temple University head lacrosse coach, adds.
The investigation is ongoing.